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Growing opportunities for farmers in waste management


Opportunities for farmers in waste management are growing, with policy increasingly geared towards managing waste more efficiently.

According to Lucy Hopwood, speaking at Energy and Rural Business Show this March, there is more scope to use agricultural waste more effectively. “In the past waste has been dealt with by disposal, but over time, this is shifting significantly to recycling, reuse and ultimately, prevention.

“Anaerobic Digestion (AD) presents one of the best environmental outcomes for food waste that cannot be prevented or redistributed to others or, if this is not possible, used as animal feed,” says Lucy.

Lucy explains that the unavoidable agricultural wastes identified as most significant and showing the greatest potential in Europe are:

  • Manure from livestock

  • Straw from cereals & oil seeds

  • Pomace from fruit processing

  • Leaves, pomace and peel from vegetables

“Currently there are 486 operational plants in the UK, and a further 343 in development, which means that the potential for farmers to supply a growing market and benefit from enhancing their own waste management practices are significant. There are numerous ways farmers can become involved, as suppliers of wastes and resources, or by developing their own waste-treatment capacity, to convert valuable agri-wastes to energy and other higher value outputs.” says Lucy.

Lucy will be speaking in the Energy and Rural Business Show conference in a new session called ‘Identifying and maximising the value of agri-outputs and waste streams’ at 13:40 – 14:50 on Tuesday 3 March 2020, alongside Andrew Richards from Agrii, who will be present on ‘Examining the effect of digestate on soil’, and the British Hay Association, speaking on the topic of ‘Straw – what is it good for?.’ Chairing the session will be John Adams, Agricultural Consultant at ADAS.

Energy and Rural Business Show takes place on 3-4 March 2020 in the East of England Arena, Peterborough. Free to attend, it showcases the latest renewable energy opportunities, business diversification options, energy and environmental management recommendations and advances in low emission vehicles for agriculture.


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